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Govt asks WhatsApp messaging platform to withdraw its updated privacy policy

Prime News, National and International, Information Technology, Social Media, New Delhi, May 20:- The government of India has asked WhatsApp to withdraw the recent changes in the privacy policy of the messaging app, saying unilateral changes are not fair and acceptable.

In a strongly worded letter to WhatsApp chief executive officer (CEO) Will Cathcart, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said India is home to the largest user base of WhatsApp globally and is one the biggest markets for its services.

The proposed changes to the WhatsApp Terms of Service and Privacy Policy “raise grave concerns regarding the implications for the choice and autonomy of Indian citizens,” it wrote. The ministry asked WhatsApp to withdraw the proposed changes and reconsider its approach to information privacy, freedom of choice and data security. It has asked WhatsApp to respond to the notice by May 25.

Stating that Indians should be properly respected, it said, “any unilateral changes to the WhatsApp Terms of Service and Privacy would not be fair and acceptable.”

WhatsApp said in a statement it was working to address misinformation and remains available to answer any questions. “We wish to reinforce that this update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook,” it said.

California-based Facebook invested $5.7 billion last year in the digital unit of Indian conglomerate Reliance with a huge part of that aimed at drawing in tens of millions of traditional shop owners to use digital payments via WhatsApp.

With 400 million users in India, WhatsApp has big plans for the country’s growing digital payments space, including selling health insurance via partners. (Inputs: Agencies, NGB)

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